RICHARDSON, Texas — More than a week after Hurricane Ida, there are still half a million people left without power.
Many are seeking shelter out of state and waiting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to come through. In Collin County, there are more than a dozen families seeking shelter, patiently waiting for help.
Getting around is challenging for 78-year-old Lenora Gordon. Away from her Louisiana home, she said she's feeling tired, hungry and exhausted.
“Dialysis keeps me going, got to have the electricity,” said Gordon.
She is one of 500,000 people who still don’t have electricity back home in New Orleans.
“I don’t think FEMA wants to do anything, but they did give us 500 [dollars],” said Gordon.
Gordon is one of a dozen families staying at a North Texas hotel in Richardson.
“Major anxiety, not knowing what we are going back to,” said Dave McNulty, a New Orleans evacuee. “FEMA, I was on the phone with them for 172 minutes."
In the end, he doesn’t feel like he accomplished much on the phone call.
“All I got was, your app is pending,” McNulty said.
Many people who are finding shelter in North Texas said they find themselves in the same situation as McNulty.
“There is a big crush of people applying,” said Nate Custer, a spokesperson for FEMA.
There are at least 200,000 families that have applied for assistance through FEMA, and many of them are left feeling frustrated because it’s been days without getting a response.
“Talking to the people at FEMA, you’re going to get a call from a FEMA inspector, and there will be a virtual inspection to the damage to your home,” said Custer.
COVID-19 restrictions are making the process even slower than it would normally be.
“I’m at a point where they have to come out and check,” said Rodney Fields, whose home was damaged from the hurricane. FEMA is currently on the way to help.
Fields is a plant worker, so financially, it's been a difficult time.
“We had to think fast," Fields said. "We’ve been through Katrina before."
People like St. Luke’s Lutheran Church pastor Linda Anderson-Little are working to provide some sort of optimism and hope.
“I prayed, 'Lord, what else can I do?'" Anderson-Little said. "The Lord said, 'There are boxed lunches at Jason’s Deli."
These are some of the people and stories connected to those impacted by Hurricane Ida.
Off camera, WFAA also spoke to a 7-year-old boy who said a tree fell on his house.
If you want to help those impacted, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to get in contact with FEMA you can call 1-800-621-3362 or go to disasterassistance.gov.